aone sense, explains you to why the private sector is more efficient than the public sector. the public sector, it is not our money. it is not their money. so those who are up here who spend it that's why they spend $1 trillion more than they have each year. that's why they break their own budgetary rules, that's why there's no budget. that's why we live in an era of runaway spending. that's why your government is insolvent, your government is bankrupt. and guess what? when you raise taxes on 2% of the people, there's a chance you don't get any more tax revenue. because when you raise tax rates, you sometimes get less revenue. and the converse is true. sometimes you lower rates and you actually get more revenue. in the 1920's we lowered tax rates and we got more revenue. guess what? the rich paid a higher percentage of the revenue when we lowered rates. we did it again in the 1960's under kennedy. we did it again under reagan. we grew at 7% one year under reagan because we lowered rates
and we unleashed an economic boom. that's what you want. do you want a government that just is envious and jealous and wants to punish people or do you want a government that has rational policies and allows the economy. in the 1980's we had 7% growth in one year. we had millions of jobs created. mark my words, you will raise tax rates and you'll feel good because you went after and got those rich people because you said you were. you campaigned against rich people. and you got enough envy whipped up in the country and you're going to stick it to those rich people. but guess what? you may not get any more revenue. you may not get any more economic growth. but you can say i stuck it to the rich people. that's what we're talking about. some of you may say we're going to do this but maybe we'll do something about spending at the same time. the wupbg thing take -- the one thing taken off the table is spending restraint. there will be no spending
restraint. in fact, whatever deal comes out of here will increase spending. that's part of the deal. we're going to raise taxes and we're going to raise spending. tell me what's good about that. there is a cliff approaching. it's not the cliff you hear about on tv. the cliff is a debt cliff. there's a debt crisis in our country. we now have a debt that equals our g.d.p. our debt equals our economy. we are borrowing while we're today dithering over a deal that will do nothing. we will borrow $4 billion today. we are borrowing $50,000 every he could. each man, woman and child in this country owes more per capita in debt than they do in greece. so by all means, let's complete a deal today so we can go home. let's complete a deal. let's raise taxes. let's stick it to those rich people. let's not touch spending. and let's pretend as if we've done something. the deal will do absolutely nothing to save this country.
two-thirds of your spending up here is entitlement. the president has taken entitlement off the table. we will not reform the entitlement programs. why are the entitlement programs broken? is it republicans' fault or democrats' fault? no, it's your great-grandparents' fault. they had too many kids. it has nothing to do with partisan politics. there were a whole bunch of babies born after the war and then there have been less babies born with each generation. it's nobody's fault but it's not working. we spend more on social security than comes in in taxes. that's a problem. on medicare it's even worse. we spend $3 for every $1 you collect in medicare. anybody think that's going to work? it's been going on for a long time now, and it's getting worse. we owe $35 trillion to $40 trillion on medicare and it's not getting any better. so what are your retirement groups? aarp says don't touch it.
that's great. that's part of the solution. don't touch it. what's the president say? entitlement's off the table. what does the majority leader say? we won't do anything about entitlements. well, great, this is going to be a real great solution. we're really going to do a lot, but we're going to stick it to rich people. hope nobody works for any of these rich people. hope nobody sells any of this stuff to rich people. the thing is look at what's going on up here. when you ask for action, don't ask for any action. we have to figure out what the problem is before we can get to what we need to do. people say, well, we've raised taxes. we just need more revenue. spending as measured as a percentage of your economy, four years ago we were spending 20% of our g.d.p. we're now spending 25% of our g.d.p. so when we say on our side that it's a spending problem, it absolutely is. it absolutely is. and it's out of control.
and guess what? most of it is called mandatory spending. that means entitlements. you can't do anything about it. they're now taken off the table. about a year ago you may have remembered there was this big debate, the budget control act, there was this big debate over raising the debt ceiling. and they attached to it some slowdown in spending. these were not cuts. the sequester is not a cut in spending. it's repeated all the time on tv that the sequester is a cut, but it's not a cut. it's a slowdown in the rate of growth. but it's at least going in the right direction. so what's the one thing that we hear now that's going to be part of this deal? we're going to get rid of the sequester. so the one even pretend, make-believe attempt to try to slow down spending, they're going to jettison it. they're going to kick the can down the road, but we're going to get those rich people. we're going to attack those rich people. we have to wake up soon as a
country. we really literally are insolvent. and some say, well, we're a great and powerful country. bad things could never happen to us. it can and it has happened to great civilized countries. you know what they do? great and civilized country can destroy their currency. we have printed trillions upon trillions of dollars and we're in danger of destroying the very value of your currency. so instead of having a president who runs around saying he's going to stick it to rich people, what we really need are honest people to go around the country and say to people, if you are working class or you are retired, the government is stealing from you. the government is stealing your savings through big government. so on the one hand, they offer you something. they offer you baubles, something for free. here's a cell phone. just take the cell phone and vote for phaoefplt it will be okay -- and vote for me. it will be okay. the problem is it's not free.
on the one hand, you get the free cell phone. on the other hand, you get $4 gas. on the other hand you get food rising. why do prices go up? we run a deficit giving you free stuff and then we print money to pay for it and that steals value from what you have. it's not that gas is more precious. gas is rising because the value of the dollar is shrinking. food is rising because the value of your dollar is shrinking. big government is not your friend. deficits are not your friend. we hang in the balance up here, and nobody is serious about it. what's the one thing that's been taken off the table? spending. we will not cut any spending. so we're looking for a deal that will raise taxes, which everybody seems to equate with drowning, except we're only going to make a few people drown and they're rich anyway. but i think drowning is a policy. drowning, even if it's selective
drowning. being in favor of selective drowning is not a good policy. so what i've asked and what i ask people is let your representatives now. let your senators know that you'd rather have some kind of serious fix to the problem rather than kicking the can down the road. you'd rather have them actually do something that would allow the economy to grow, would allow jobs to be created and as a consequence government will bring in more revenue. the only thing proven to ever bring in more revenue up here, economic growth. what's going on right now? we're growing at a little under 2%. when the president two years ago extended all the tax rates and chose not to raise tax rates, we were growing faster. and he said we don't want to rock the economy, and he agreed to extend all tax rates. but now i think he's hellbent on raising taxes. so realize that what you're going to get is raising taxes, more money taken out of the private sector and given to government, the inefficient
sector. don't count on that new money coming in going to make the debt smaller. count on it funding more programs. you'll notice, if you look carefully at whatever this fiscal cliff deal is, that there won't be spending cuts but there will be spending proposals. so we're going to try to tax rich people more and get more money. it may not work because often you raise rates and get less revenue. we're going to try that. but we're going to take the intervene we get from rich people and we're going to spend it on programs, what we've been doing here. we're not going to fix the problem. we're going to perpetuate the problem. i would argue for we should be doing the oppose. we the -- doing the opposite. the republican party should have no part on this. we should have no finger prints on this and in no way support anything that raises taxes because it's bad economic policy. i for one will not support any proposal that comes out that does not cut spending and raises
the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: i ask further proceedings of the quorum call be dispensed with. fer 123er without objection. mr. kerry: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the period for morning business for debate only be extended until 2:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes eve. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kerry: i thank the chair and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: